Arsenal draw CSKA Moscow in Europa League quarter-finals

Atlético Madrid will play Sporting and Arsenal go up against CSKA Moscow in the quarter-finals of the Europa League

Arsenal face mission to Moscow in quarter-finals

Arsenal have been drawn against CSKA Moscow in the quarter-finals of the Europa League.

The Gunners booked their place in the last eight by defeating AC Milan, winning the second leg 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday evening to seal a 5-1 aggregate victory.

In the other quarter-final ties, Atletico Madrid face Sporting Lisbon, RB Leipzig tackle Marseille and Lazio take on Red Bull Salzburg.

Arsenal last reached a European quarter-final in 2010, when they lost to Barcelona in the Champions League.

The Gunners look unlikely to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League, currently sitting in sixth place - 12 points behind fourth-spotted Liverpool.

Arsène Wenger’s men, though, have now won their last three matches in all competitions to ease the pressure a little on the veteran Frenchman.

The draw in full:

Arsenal v CSKA Moscow
Atlético Madrid v Sporting
Lazio v Salzburg
Leipzig v Marseille

  • Team named first at home in first leg. First legs to be played on 5 April, second legs to be played on 12 April.

Updated

If they are going to make such a fuss over the draws, they should go the whole hog and organise some kind of complicated choreography. I personally would like to have seen a blindfolded Arsene Wenger shoot a sucker-tipped arrow towards a giant panel of potential opponents.

The draw in full:

Arsenal v CSKA Moscow
Atlético Madrid v Sporting
Lazio v Salzburg
Leipzig v Marseille

Lazio v Salzburg

Lazio have lost 100% of both their previous matches against Salzburg.

Atlético Madrid v Sporting

An all-Iberian challenge. They have played twice in Europe before, and drew both times.

Arsenal v CSKA Moscow

Arsenal have avoided Atlético, as they wished. But don’t be too happy too soon: their record against CSKA is poor, and amounts to one draw and one defeat.

RB Leipzig v Marseille

Our first pairing! RB Leipzig have never played any of these teams before, so this is uncharted territory for them.

The balls have been shuffled, and like ripe cherries hanging on a tree they are about to be picked.

“I think football is diversity, and it’s always good to have teams from different countries representing football,” he says.

Eric Abidal is indeed here, to do the actual ball-plucking bit. First, though, a humiliatingly superficial chat!

“Uefa Europa League is really competitive and umpredictable, everyone has a chance to win and to qualify for next year’s Champions League,” he says.

Uefa’s deputy general secretary, Giorgio Marchetti, arrives to take us through the actual drawy bit.

And yes, we begin with a moody video package showing us the landmarks of Lyon and the landmark moments of the round of 16 (though Welbeck’s dive has not been included, puzzlingly).

Look out for Éric Abidal, who as the official ambassador for the 2018 final in Lyon will presumably play a part in all this.

Bong! The hour is upon us!

Less than 10 minutes before we get to find out what kind of slow-motion video package Uefa have prepared for this one.

“We would certainly want to avoid Atletico Madrid,” is as much as Arsene Wenger would say about his hopes for today’s draw. He won’t be the only one going into the draw with that hope uppermost in their mind.

Updated

Important diary update: the first leg of the quarter-finals will be played on 5 April, with the return a week later, on the 12th. Looking further ahead, the semi-finals are on 26 April and 3 May, and the final will be played in Lyon on 16 May.

Updated

Hello world!

Well this is splendidly old-fashioned. Eight teams, representing eight different nations. Just like the old days. There’s an Austrian team, a Spanish team, an Italian team, one each from England, Germany and France, and teams from Portugal and Russia. And any of those teams could face any of the other ones in the draw which, like a shoot-out in the wild west, will be full of potential danger and entirely free of rules. And like the shoot-out, at the end of all this some will fall, and some will survive, and ride off into the sunset on the back of a handsome steed. Donning their stetsons and loading up their six-shooters today will be, in order of current bookmaker favouritism:

Atlético Madrid
Arsenal
RB Leipzig
Lazio
Marseille
Salzburg
Sporting Clube de Portugal
CSKA Moscow

In the meantime, here’s something to whet your appetite:

Updated

Arsenal face mission to Moscow in quarter-finals

Arsenal have been drawn against CSKA Moscow in the quarter-finals of the Europa League.

The Gunners booked their place in the last eight by defeating AC Milan, winning the second leg 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday evening to seal a 5-1 aggregate victory.

In the other quarter-final ties, Atletico Madrid face Sporting Lisbon, RB Leipzig tackle Marseille and Lazio take on Red Bull Salzburg.

Arsenal last reached a European quarter-final in 2010, when they lost to Barcelona in the Champions League.

The Gunners look unlikely to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League, currently sitting in sixth place - 12 points behind fourth-spotted Liverpool.

Arsène Wenger’s men, though, have now won their last three matches in all competitions to ease the pressure a little on the veteran Frenchman.

The draw in full:

Arsenal v CSKA Moscow
Atlético Madrid v Sporting
Lazio v Salzburg
Leipzig v Marseille

Updated